Monday, February 25, 2013

Recording: Not the Wind, Not the Flag

Artist: Not the Wind, Not the Flag

Song: [excerpt from an improvization]

Recorded at The Tranzac – Main Hall ("Somewhere There Festival"), February 24, 2013.

Not the Wind, Not the Flag - [excerpt from an improvization]

Full review to follow. Somewhere There is no longer a place. The cozy sanctuary for all sorts of creative music recently shut its doors due to "noise complaints and other unpleasantness". Fortunately, this already-planned festival was relocated to The Tranzac, making it less a celebration of a venue than its animating spirit. But it's still an opportunity to gather together a wide variety of musicians who have developed their music there, reflect on the past, and wonder about what's next.

Sunday afternoon's session began with a wonderful talk from Casey Sokol entitled "Can Improvisation be Taught?" that ultimately veered to the opposite question — can improvization be learned? That was a framework for consideration both on music and pedagogy, with breaks along the way for a few exercises, starting with some active listening and clapping the audience and moving on to musicians recognizing endings and more. Professor Sokol gave the impression of being the sort of teacher you'd be eager to take a class with, and the room was filled with a lot of current and past students.

After that, Not The Wind, Not The Flag, put some of those ideas into practice, with Colin Fisher and Brandon Valdivia playing an extra-long set. That gave them time to work through a range of instruments (mouth harp and flutes got a workout here) as they gave, as always, a seminar on listening and playing in the moment.

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